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  Why SOS

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We are a father and son who live in Surrey, England.

Neil (48) has worked in the family business twwhiteandsons.co.uk for the past 25 years and has always had a passion for travel and adventure. Neil can be a bit eccentric and a non-conformist - at times !

Alistair (17) is a bit more level headed and has just left St. Johns School in Leatherhead. He is taking his ‘gap year’ before going on to Glasgow University to study Business and Management. Ali has many hobbies and has a true passion for cars and driving.

We were naturally both disappointed and therefore decided to ‘go it alone’. With the blessing of family and fellow company directors, it was agreed that we would attempt to drive to Australia over a period of four months – August-December 2004.

When we decided to attempt to go ahead with this independent expedition, we had absolutely no idea what we were getting involved in. It is an immense task to organise such a trip and would not be possible without the help and support of friends and family.

The opportunity to attempt to raise a substantial sum for charity could not go to waste. We have therefore set ourselves the challenge to raise over £100,000 towards charity. We now have three aims:-

  1. to raise over £100,000 towards our chosen charity SOS Children’s Villages
  2. to reach Sydney safe and sound within 4 months of departure
  3. to have the adventure of a lifetime and further strengthen our father and son bond


I needed a break from work and decided to take some time out. Originally I had planned to take part in the ‘Great Silk Road’ Rally to Australia in 2003. This was an organised rally hoping to travel to Australia by the most overland route possible. Unfortunately, the organisers had to postpone the rally until 2004 and my co-driver had to pull out due to business commitments (the postponement was due to the political unrest in certain regions!).

Ali had planned to take a gap year in 2004 and therefore asked whether he could be the co-driver on the revised Great Silk Road Rally. This was agreed, although I did wonder who was sharing whose gap year or time out! Unfortunately, in January 2004, the organisers decided to cancel the rally altogether.

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